Volume 2 Issue 6
July 23, 2014
In This Issue
ASK AHAI
QUESTION:
I thought ALL coaches on the ice had to wear helmets. Why is it I see coaches on the ice without them? Why would they do that?

ANSWER: 

Yes, it is a rule that ALL coaches when on the ice MUST wear a helmet in any USA Hockey or AHAI team event. Coaches are subject to a one game suspension. The rule was instituted because we were seeing our youth coaches injured in practices. Some have even died as a result of a head injury during practice.  Just three seasons ago two coaches suffered catastrophic head injuries in practice; one was a mite coach who had his feet swept by a Mite player falling behind him. Another was struck in the head by a puck at center ice by a midget level player in a zone clearing attempt off the glass.

 

READ MORE 

  

Have a question for ASK AHAI? Click HERE.
ASK THE COACH
QUESTION:

Can you please help me find out when my Level 2 CEP certification expires?


ANSWER:

Any USA Hockey certified coach can look up their current CEP status on the USA Hockey website by clicking HERE. Simply enter your last name and click the search button. By entering ONLY your last name, you will access anyone in the USA Hockey CEP database with that last name. You will then be able to select your name from that list by simply clicking on it which will then allow you to see your current CEP records, including any Age Specific Modules that you have already taken. It will also show the expiration date of your current CEP level.

  

Have a question for ASK the Coach? Click HERE.
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PRESIDENT'S LETTER
WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR MITE PLAYER?
DEAR HOCKEY FAMILIES,

 

Currently Illinois is in the middle of a changing landscape for U7 and U8 players, also known as Mites. There is a lot of "political" disinformation between USA Hockey, AHAI and some of AHAI's affiliate hockey clubs that don't like the direction of USA Hockey. Like it or not, parents of this age group must make a decision on what's best for their individual players.

 

As a little background, the difference we are talking about is the size of the ice surface for U7 and U8 players. For the U6 player, there is no disagreement in the hockey community that half-ice or less is the best training tool for those youngest players. Let it also be said that AHAI, and I personally, see "the limited use" of full-ice as a benefit to players as they move closer to the U10 (Squirt) division. We should keep in mind that all of these skaters are beginning hockey players. While there is a small percentage of highly skilled U8 players, the majority are still mastering the skills needed to enjoy playing the game. The bottom line is that AHAI, along with NIHL and NWHL, will be featuring a schedule of 15 full-ice games after December 1, 2014, plus league playoffs.  NIHL and NWHL are also including competitive half-ice league games where standings and scheduling are handled by the leagues. The other option for your child (not affiliated with USA Hockey or AHAI) is playing close to 40 full-ice games starting sometime in September (or earlier) with limited, if any, half-ice games. Those half-ice games will be administered by the clubs and/or coaches themselves only if they so choose.

 

In addition to NIHL and NWHL's Fall leagues, AHAI is offering a second program, the Mite ADM Program, which is a fully compliant American Development Model program. This program features only half-ice games. One of the main reasons AHAI is offering a fully compliant ADM program is that there are many parents and coaches that believe it is the best development program for their players. An important part of the AHAI Mite ADM Program is the quality of coaching being offered by the Tier I clubs who are administering this program. Registration for the AHAI Mite ADM program is strong with registration currently at 65% capacity.

Parents need to understand what their local program is offering and if that program offering fits the needs of their player. Parents should also know what their goals for both their player and program are by asking themselves the following questions: Are the overall goals of the program in line with the player's goals or potential? Does the club have their best coaches at the youngest levels? Does the player just want to play recreationally or become more competitive? READ MORE>>>
AHAI TIER I MITE ADM PROGRAM UPDATE
The Tier I Mite ADM Program is filling up fast! AHAI is excited about this unique program and the opportunity these young skaters will have to develop their skills in a fun and energetic environment. If you have not thought about the Tier I Mite ADM Program for your 7 or 8 year old Mite skater, take a moment to learn more about it by clicking HERE. Evaluations for this program will be held August 23 through August 30, 2014. Exact dates and times during that time frame will be set individually by each of the Tier I Organizations participating this year. 
 
With enrollment still open, dates and times during this 7 day window cannot be set until each Tier I Organization knows the number of skaters for which to set ice. All skaters registered will receive an email with exact dates, times and locations for the evaluations by mid-August. Please contact Jim Clare at MiteADM@ahai2.org with any questions.
 
GIVEAWAY!
ENTER TO WIN A SIGNED COPY OF MICHAEL BETCHERMAN'S LATEST HOCKEY THRILLER, FACE-OFF!
Michael Betcherman, award winning author of Breakaway, captivates hockey enthusiasts again in his second novel, Face-Off, which has just been released in the United States. Enter to win a signed copy of Face-Off! Contest ends on Friday, August 29. Winners will be notified by email and announced in the September 3rd edition of AHAI's e-newsletter, SNAPSHOT.
 
AHAI NEWS & INFORMATION
TIER II 2 CHOICE SUBSTITUTION APPLICATION PROCESS NOW OPEN!

The application process for Tier II Two Choice Substitutions is now open through October 15. You can find links to helpful articles regarding the Two Choice Rule, Choice Substitutions and what you should consider before making that second choice as well as information regarding the Midget Third Choice at ahaienews.com. Click HERE for examples of situations that may lead to the rare substitute choice. Questions? Contact AHAI Tier II Chairman, Gregg Chudacoff, at gregg@generaltruckparts.com. 

 


AHAI  GOLF OUTING
DINNER OPENINGS AVAILABLE!

The 18th Annual AHAI Foundation Golf Outing on Friday, August 15, 2014 promises to be a HUGE success as we are completely full at 36 foursomes with one foursome on the waiting list! However, Dinner Reservations ARE STILL AVAILABLE! The dinner will be lots of fun with several new and exciting events and exhibits planned. Tickets are $45 each for the dinner portion and can be reserved by contacting Don Allord at 630.464.5910 or donallordtravel@gmail.com.

 

 

2014-2015 CEP CLINICS
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!

AHAI is pleased to announce the schedule for the 2014-15 Coaching Education Program (CEP) Clinics. USA Hockey and the Coaching Education Program require both certification and registration in order to be eligible to coach; therefore, all coaches should ensure that they have met these requirements to be behind the bench for the upcoming season. Online registration to attend a CEP Clinic is now open. Click HERE for full CEP Clinic schedule. Click HERE to register.
 
NIHL 2014-15 MITE FALL SEASON UPDATE

Monday night's NIHL meeting gave us our first look at preliminary team counts for the upcoming travel hockey season. AHAI was encouraged to see 5 more clubs commit mite teams to the upcoming NIHL season; Rockford, Chiefs, Pekin, Blackbirds, and Yellowjackets. In all there are 19 clubs that are placing mite teams in NIHL this season. Those clubs represent about 38 mite teams. Each metallic level (Gold, Silver, Bronze) will have 10-15 teams participating this season.

 

A special shout out to the Admirals and Irish who have decided to go 100% half-ice/cross-ice with all their mites this season. The Admirals are looking to become a model association with USA Hockey.

 

As has been stated in the past, AHAI is not eliminating full-ice hockey as some have suggested. We (AHAI and USA Hockey) are working under the well founded premise that mites playing upwards of 35 to 40 full-ice games in approximately 6 months is not the optimum way to develop them for the long-term. Think about what 40 games represents: half an NHL season, more games than most Division 1 colleges play, and almost as many as most Junior teams. No matter what your child does this winter, we hope it is an enjoyable season. For those leaving AHAI and USA Hockey, we hope to see you back again the following year. For those mites staying in NIHL, congratulations for staying the course and supporting the league that has supported all of us for so long. We will have more updates in the next edition of SNAPSHOT.

ILLINOIS HOCKEY OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION (IHOA) NEWS
DEDICATED INDIVIDUALS MAKE UP IHOA: WHAT'S REQUIRED OF OUR OFFICIALS?
By Mike Barrett, AHAI Referee-in-Chief

The hockey season is right around the corner, and for a dedicated group of hockey people, it comes sooner than for most of the hockey community. Yes, yes, yes I am speaking about the officials. Each year, in order to maintain their "complete" status, all USA Hockey officials must register and attend a day-long seminar. Our registration to do so commences August 1 and this year is no exception.

 

Last year, a group from Illinois produced an online video presentation which registering officials were required to watch prior to attending their seminar. The online portion of the registration process was a huge success and officials universally commented that the presentation was quite helpful to them. This year, USA Hockey is producing its own online video portion and all officials will view the online section. READ MORE>>>

CONCUSSION AWARENESS
A STEP aHEAD BASELINE TESTING
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!

 

The Chicago Blackhawks, AHAI, Athletico and NorthShore University HealthSystem are proud to announce the fourth year of the A Step aHead program, which provides education on concussion safety to the youth hockey community and free baseline cognitive testing. Testing is now available through November 30, 2014 for all AHAI members aged 13-18. Keep your eye out for additional information on educational opportunities for coaches, athletes and parents, including our second annual "Mom's Night" at the United Center.

 

 

HELP WANTED: A STEP aHEAD PARTICIPATION SURVEY
 
Attention parents of skaters between the ages of 13 and 18, please take a moment to complete our quick, 2-question A Step aHead Baseline Testing Survey. Your input is greatly appreciated.
 
 
ILLINOIS HOCKEY NEWS
4  PLAYERS ROSTERED TO U.S. UNDER-18 SELECT TEAM
 

Four Illinois players who participated at the USA Hockey Boys' Select 17 Player Development Camp have been chosen for the U.S. Under-18 Select Team that will compete at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup Aug. 11-16 in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia. Congratulations Tory Dello (Crystal Lake), Matt Jurusik (LaGrange), Tanner Laczynski (Shorewood), and Zach Wilkie (Villa Park). The Boys' Select 17 Player Development Camp took place June 30-July 2 at the Northtown Center at Amherst in Williamsville, N.Y. For a complete roster click HERE and for complete Ivan Hlinka coverage, including Team USA schedule and news, click HERE.



TWO ILLINOIS NATIVES SIGN WITH ROCKFORD ICEHOGS!

The Rockford IceHogs, proud American Hockey League Affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, announced that they have agreed to terms with defenseman Zach Miskovic (River Forest) and forward Ryan Schnell (Cary) on AHL contracts for the 2014-15 season. We wish them the best of luck for the upcoming season.

 

 

SKOKIE'S KNIERIM ROSTERED TO U.S. U-17 SELECT TEAM!

Congratulations to William Knierim, forward from Skokie! Knierim, who most recently played for the Chicago Mission U16 Team, was recently rostered to the U.S. Under-17 Select Team. The 20-man roster for the U.S. Under-17 Select Team will compete in the 2014 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament Aug. 13-17 in Crimmitschau, Germany. Knierim participated in the USA Hockey Boys' Select 16 Player Development Camp, which took place from July 7-13 at the Northtown Center at Amherst in Williamsville, New York. For complete Under-17 Five Nations Tournament coverage, including Team USA schedule and news, click HERE.

BILLY'S STORY: THE MAKINGS OF A ROLE MODEL

The top four qualities of a role model are passion and the ability to inspire, a clear set of values, selflessness and acceptance of others and the ability to overcome obstacles; qualities not normally associated with an 11 year old boy.

 

Billy Gatske is a 6th grade student at Traughber Middle School in Oswego, Illinois, and like many young hockey players his age, Billy was bitten by the hockey bug during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. His parents, Bill and Jennie Gatske, enrolled Billy in Learn to Skate programs at Fox Valley and Rocket Ice Arenas where Billy's love for the game of hockey became evident and his path to becoming a role model to other youth athletes began.

 

Billy was born with VACTERL Association. VACTERL stands for vertebral defects, anal atresia, cardiac defects, tracheo-esophageal fistula, renal anomalies, and limb abnormalities. A child diagnosed with VACTERAL Association will not necessarily have problems in all these areas; Billy has one kidney, an extra rib, no radius bone in his right arm (making it significantly shorter than his left) and a club hand absent a thumb with fused fingers. READ MORE>>>

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS NEWS
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 3v3 HOCKEY SERIES
Blackhawks 3v3 Tournament registration is now open! The tournament will take place August 15-16, 2014, at Seven Bridges Ice Arena (6690 Route 53, Woodridge). Age brackets range from Mites to Midgets.
 
 
                        
UPCOMING EVENTS
SPORTS MEDICINE SYMPOSIUM FOR HOCKEY PLAYERS
NorthShore University HealthSystem will be hosting a free sports medicine symposium for hockey players, parents and coaches on September 4, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at New Trier High School. Information will be presented on injury prevention and rehabilitation from leading medical experts. Additional details will be published in future issues of SNAPSHOT.
OAK LAWN ICE ARENA'S 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
Join Oak Lawn Ice Arena Friday, August 8 through Saturday, August 9 as they celebrate the heroes in our lives. Watch as Hockey Saves, the Oak Lawn Police & Fire Department and the Chicago Blackhawks Alumni battle it out on the ice. There will also be a Red, White & Blue Skate with a DJ and a Salute to Heroes Skating Exhibition. Click HERE for complete schedule of events and ticket information.
FACE-OFF!
MICHAEL BETCHERMAN'S SECOND NOVEL, FACE-OFF, DOESN'T DISAPPOINT!

BIn June we introduced you to award winning screenwriter and author, Michael Betcherman's first young adult novel, Breakaway. Shortlisted for the John Spray Mystery Award, Breakaway follows Nick Macklin, a 16 year old who had it all until the bottom fell out when his father was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison for a crime Nick is convinced he didn't commit. Betcherman will again captivate your hockey enthusiast.

 

Face-Off introduces us to seventeen year-old Alex Petrovic who is thrilled to be playing goal in an international hockey tournament. He has his sights set on a college hockey scholarship, and scouts from all the big-time schools will be there. After a game against a team from Eastern Europe, he shakes hands with the opposing goalie, Stefan Divac, and finds himself staring at his identical double. At first he doesn't know what to make of it. Then his mother sees Stefan-and faints dead away. The chance meeting uncovers family secrets buried in the wake of a civil war back in their home country that separated the brothers when they were infants. When the two war criminals who were responsible for tearing their family apart escape, Alex dreams of bringing them to justice. Can his dream become reality? READ MORE>>>


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